Wells Fargo overcharged hundreds of customers in pursuit of bonuses: report

Wells Fargo overcharged hundreds of customers in pursuit of bonuses: report
© Greg Nash

Wells Fargo bankers reportedly overcharged hundreds of business customers, chasing bonuses based on how much revenue they brought in, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

One review found that out of 300 fee agreements, only 35 companies were charged the price they were offered by Wells Fargo bankers, employees told the newspaper.

Foreign-exchange bankers received bonuses that were only based on the amount of money they brought into the bank, a marked difference from how other financial institutions calculate them. Wells Fargo told The Wall Street Journal that it changed the compensation make-up earlier this year.

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Wells Fargo also charged extraordinarily high trading fees compared to those offered at other banks. Clients were charged 1 to 4 percent for transactions, compared to the .15 to .5 percent standard found at most other institutions.

The high fees meant the bank would walk away with large sums for international trades, and bankers would sometimes say that the fees were actually higher than the ones that had been agreed upon.

Bankers would tell customers who were taken aback by the fees that “time fluctuation” was responsible for the differences because the market prices were different when the transaction happened, one former manager told the newspaper.

Wells Fargo was embroiled in scandal last year after it was revealed that employees had opened millions of unauthorized or fake accounts.